Brodie's CCL History

Brodie has always been a very active bulldog. He would chase his tennis balls for hours. In the yard...down the hallway. It didn't matter. He loved it. In May 2003, Brodie developed a slight limp. It would come and go but would always be worse after running around. I took him to see his vet in June and she prescribed rest for 2 weeks and Rimadyl for one week. Brodie didn't limp during this time but he also did not play or run around. Supervised on-leash potty breaks. After the two weeks were up, I let him play a little bit and the limp would return. The vet suggested he come in for x-rays and palpitation of his left knee. The vet was able to ellicit a positive drawer sign which is an indication of a torn Cranial Cruciate Ligament (similar to the ACL in humans). She recommended Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy (TPLO) surgery rather than the traditional Modified Retinacular Imbrication Techinique (MRIT). TPLO surgery is now being done on larger dogs with great success. Since Brodie is 80 pounds and also very active, I thought this would be the answer. I took Brodie to see an orthopedic surgeon in Seattle for a second opinion and he also thought it would be a better surgery for Brodie. However, he was hesitant due to the unique conformation of bulldogs and Brodie's history of nasal aspergillus and compromised immune system. The TPLO surgery involves the cutting of bone and attachment of metal plates and screws and this can be a greater risk of infection. Also, the cuts in the bone need to be very precise or there can be gait problems in the future. I decided to take Brodie back to WSU Vet Hospital since they were so familiar with his history (they treated his nasal aspergillus). The surgeon at WSU, Dr. Briggs, said she would be very hesitant to do the TPLO surgery on Brodie. First, the conformation of bulldogs makes it very tricky. She had never performed the surgery on a bulldog, as I suspect many orthopedic surgeons hadn't either. Also, the angles of his tibia were within the normal range. Brodie also had quite a bit of degenerative disease in his left knee which would make getting proper measurements very difficult. These measurements are crucial when cutting and realligning the bone. There was also concern with infection due to his history and the invasiveness of the surgery. Dr. Briggs said she would recommend the MRIT surgery. So, that is what we decided upon. On Friday, August 1, 2003, Brodie has his surgery. He did very well. I picked him up on Saturday, August 2nd and here is the story of his recovery...

On July 29th, a few days prior to his scheduled surgery, I took Brodie to a pre-surgery water therapy session to familiarize him with the water at La Paw Spa

He loved it but was dubbed a "sinker" so needs support while swimming.

Venus was a curious onlooker... she got a turn too!

Click here to go to Brodie's CCL Week One of Recovery Webpage.

Click here to go back to Brodie's CCL Homepage.

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